The question of who pays for these aids depends on what they’ve been prescribed for. For instance, is the aim to relieve symptoms, support nursing care or make working life easier? Usually, your health insurer or nursing care insurer (Pflegeversicherung) pays – but it could also be your pension fund (Rentenkasse), accident insurance provider (Unfallversicherung), the employment agency (Arbeitsagentur) or the social welfare office (Sozialamt).
If your health insurer covers these costs, you have to pay a prescription fee of 10 euros per prescription plus a co-payment of 10% of the price of the Hilfsmittel aid. The co-payment will be at least 5 euros and at most 10 euros. For example, if the medical aid costs 70 euros, you’ll have to pay 17 euros (10 euros for the prescription plus 7 euros for the co-payment). The co-payment isn’t allowed to be more than the price of the medical aid, though. If the aid costs less than 5 euros, you will have to pay for it yourself. If the prescription is for disposable supplies such as bandages or syringes, the co-payment is limited to 10 euros per month. If you’re prescribed a Hilfsmittel medical aid, you must buy or order it within 28 days of the prescription date. After that, the prescription is no longer valid. As with Heilmittel treatments, children and teenagers under the age of 18 don’t have to pay anything for Hilfsmittel aids. Statutory health insurers cover all of their costs.
If you need nursing care and are prescribed a Hilfsmittel aid, your nursing care insurer (Pflegeversicherung) will cover the costs. You then have to pay 10% of the price yourself, but no more than 25 euros. Where Hilfsmittel aids are needed both for nursing care and treatment, the costs are sometimes divided between the health insurer and the nursing care insurer.
These rules may be different if the costs are covered by pension funds, accident insurance providers, the employment agency or the social welfare office.